Our neighbor used to make and sell leche flan. Since they lived just right next to ours, I used to go to their house and watch as they steamed batches after batches of leche flan. They had these little cup sized molds and they had the traditional oblong llaneras as well.
Fast forward to years later. I don’t know what possessed me to go and try making leche flan but one day I found myself in front of a large bowl, cracking a bunch of eggs and making a mess of everything. By this time, I had already forgotten my neighbor’s leche flan recipe but that didn’t deter me at all. I think I had gotten through several dozens of eggs and I’m forever grateful to my housemates who acted as my guinea pigs while I was trying to perfect the recipe.
The first roadblock was making the sugar syrup. At the back of my mind I knew that it involved heating the sugar until it caramelizes but I was too inexperienced and I ended up having a syrup that was either way too bitter or way too light. I also ruined a couple of llaneras and inadvertently gave my fingers an impromptu sugar waxing, but without the beauty benefits. I have to also mention that I even used brown sugar one time (shudder, shudder). But anyway, after many of years of trying, I can now make leche flan like nobody’s business. I’m happy to report that 99% of the taste testers commented “delicious”, “creamy”, “smooth”, and such other favorable responses. The remaining 1% would account for the margin of error and those not vocal enough with their reactions (hehe).
I didn’t have a steamer or a pot that was large enough so I used the oven and baked the flan in a water bath. I forgot that my oven tends to run hot so I took the flan out only after 40 minutes have passed; it was firmer and more “cooked” than when I steamed it before. Anyway, the taste was still the same – delectable.
Some useful pointers:
Remember my struggles in making the sugar syrup? Here are some pointers that I can share with you.
- Sugar burns easily. Watch out and remove the sugar from the heat as soon as a light amber color is reached. It will continue to cook even after removal from the heat.
- Once the sugar is dissolved in the water, do not stir. Tilt from side to side or swirl your saucepan while cooking the caramel. This way, you avoid uncooked sugar sticking to your spatula or saucepan.
- Use boiling water to thin out the caramel. Cold water will cause your sauce to “seize” and harden.
- Be careful when adding the water as this causes the syrup to splash. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands if possible.
Want to have that smooth mouthfeel for your leche flan?
- When mixing the egg yolks (or the whole eggs), do not beat them. Gently swirl your whisk to break up the egg yolks and mix the other ingredients.
- After pouring the hot caramel syrup onto the molds, set them aside to cool before adding the egg mixture.
- Strain the egg mixture. It removes the stringy egg particles and ensures a velvety texture.
- Don’t pour the egg mixture onto the molds anyhow. Our goal is to have less bubbles.
- Check the leche flan after around 30 minutes of steaming. Cooking it longer produces a firmer leche flan. So long as the flan is set and doesn’t wobble, you’re good to go
And if your leche flan turns out with more craters than the surface of the moon, no worries. Just enjoy the taste. ?
Smooth and Luscious Leche Flan
For the Caramel Sauce:
- 220 grams 1 cup sugar
- 60 ml water 1/4 cup
- 180 ml 3/4 cup water, hot
For the Flan:
- 10 egg yolks or 5 whole eggs, large
- 1 14 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 12 oz can condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp lime juice optional
- For Steaming:
- 4 cups 960 ml water, hot
For the Caramel Sauce:
- In a small saucepan, mix the sugar and the 1/4 cup of water.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, lower the heat and continue to simmer while gently tilting the pan from side to side. Do not stir.
- Remove from the heat once the mixture turns amber in color.
- Carefully add the boiling water to thin out the sauce. The mixture may splatter so use some oven mitts to protect your hands. Stir until combined.
- Pour onto the llaneras (molds). Set aside to cool.
For the Flan:
- In a bowl, gently mix the yolks, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla syrup. Add the lime juice if using. Do not beat the mixture; rather, move your whisk around the bowl until the mixture is combined.
- Strain the flan mixture and pouring onto the prepared llaneras (molds). Cover with aluminum foil.
- Steam the flan for 30-40 minutes. Check the flan for doneness at the 30-minute mark. The flan is ready when the mixture is set and doesn’t wobble. There are 2 options for cooking the flan. Steaming, stovetop: In a deep enough pan or using a steamer, pour 1 cup of water at the bottom. Arrange the molds over the water. Cover the casserole or steamer. Steam the flan over high heat. Add more water as needed. Steaming, oven: Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). Arrange the molds on a large baking dish. Pour water until halfway up the baking dish. Put inside the oven and steam the flan. Add water as needed.
Once the sugar is dissolved in the water, do not stir. Tilt from side to side or swirl your saucepan while cooking the caramel. This way, you avoid uncooked sugar sticking to your spatula or saucepan.
Use boiling water to thin out the caramel. Cold water will cause your sauce to “seize” and harden.
Be careful when adding the water as this causes the sauce to splash. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands if possible.
Do not beat the egg yolks. Gently swirl your whisk to break up the egg yolks and mix the other ingredients.
After pouring the hot caramel syrup onto the molds, set them aside to cool before adding the egg mixture.
Strain the egg mixture. It removes the stringy egg particles and ensures a velvety texture.
Don’t anyhow pour the egg mixture onto the molds. Our goal is to have less bubbles.
Check the leche flan after around 30 minutes of steaming. Cooking it longer produces a firmer leche flan. So long as the flan is set and doesn’t wobble, you’re good to go.
About Smooth and Luscious Leche Flan
Whether you are craving for a traditional version or a delicious variation, Smooth and Luscious Leche Fland is a great dessert that is sure to please. The nutritional facts of Leche Flan are also included in this recipe, as are the ingredients. This recipe also includes tips on how to store leftovers. It is also best served chilled. After refrigerating, simply turn the molds over and serve. Then, you can layer it with a chiffon cake or a moist chocolate cake.
Variations of Leche Flan
There are a number of ways to prepare this delicious dessert, but you can never go wrong with classic leche flan. This sweet custard dessert has a nutty flavor and can be prepared in a variety of container styles. If you prefer to make your leche flan in a traditional steaming method, you can use a mold that is oven-safe. This will help you get the same smooth texture and rich flavor, while ensuring that the custard will set and be utterly delectable.
While leche flan has its origins in Europe, it is now commonly eaten in the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and South America. While its ingredients are basically the same, each region has a slightly different method of preparing it. Some regions bake their flans, while others steam them. Either way, the final dish is sure to be delicious and decadent! Here are the three most common methods of making leche flan.
Nutrition facts of Leche Flan
Leche Flan is a delicious dessert that originates from the Philippines. Usually, this Filipino dessert is made with egg yolks and condensed milk, but you can use evaporated milk instead. Adding coffee granules to the mixture transforms it into a mocha-flavored dessert. You can serve this dessert on special occasions, or simply make it for yourself on a weekday evening.
To make the leche flan, begin by whisking together egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Next, add condensed milk and fresh milk, and finally, add vanilla extract. Blend until smooth, and set aside until ready to serve. If you want a more delicate dessert, add lemon zest before serving. If you can’t find lemon zest, use calamansi or dayap.
Once the flan is cooked, place it in the refrigerator. This allows the caramel to cool down to room temperature. When you remove it from the refrigerator, run a sharp knife around the edges of the flan pan to loosen it. Then, place a large rimmed plate over it. Carefully flip the flan onto the other side. Let cool completely before serving. Serve chilled.
Coffee flavor of Leche Flan
The Coffee flavor of Smooth and Luscious Lache-Flan makes this dessert more delicious than ever. Its combination of sweet condensed milk, evaporated milk, and eggs makes it one of the most popular desserts in the Philippines. Caramelized sugar on top makes this dessert extra special. Flan has been around since the Roman Empire. In fact, it was one of the first civilizations to domesticate chickens and invent many egg-based dishes.
Using coffee granules in this recipe transforms the custard into a delicious mocha dessert. This dessert is perfect to serve during special occasions or any day of the week. And while the Coffee flavor makes this dessert extra decadent, it is not overwhelmingly sweet. It will still taste good without the coffee flavor. Inadequate egg and milk proportion or too much milk will cause the custard to be too runny or thick. In either case, you will need to increase the baking time or use a higher baking temperature.
Storage of Leche Flan leftovers
The best way to store Leche Flan is by using it within 3-4 days. You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days, although it will taste best when eaten within three to four days. It is also best served within 48 hours of cooking, as the flan will continue to lose its freshness if stored longer. If you have leftover Leche Flan, you can store it in the fridge for up to five days.
The best way to store leftovers of this popular dessert is to keep it chilled. You can use a llanera, an oval-shaped aluminum pan about two inches high and six inches long. You can also use ramekins or small bowls to serve single servings. A single serving of Leche Flan will keep for about 4 days in the fridge. Keep it covered with foil if you want to prolong its freshness.